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Hour 14. Working with Relationships > Normalizing a Database

Normalizing a Database

You'll see how to implement these relationships later in this hour. Before leaving the important background issues, it's important to talk about database normalization. Normalization is a set of structured processes to help you design database tables optimized for performance and integrity.

You might hear some people state that normalization not only does not contribute to performance improvements but in fact can degrade performance. There are some cases (described in this hour) in which complete normalization can adversely affect performance, particularly in a networked environment. Nonetheless, these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Longtime database designers generally agree that savings in design and maintenance are significant with normalized data, and that the few cases where performance problems arise can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Further, most database management systems today handle relational data and are optimized for the cases in which that data is normalized.



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